Airline Rewards? You May Want to Use Those ASAP
As Minnesotans, we understand that in the Winter months it's going to be cold. Sometimes VERY cold. So, how do we handle that for months on end? By going somewhere warm for about a week or so. It breaks up the Winter, and helps to tolerate it until the weather gets warmer.
Since the price of flights has been climbing and also hotel stays have been getting a bit pricey as well, it's great if you can use some frequent flier rewards to take up some of that cost. But, right now, most of the major airline carriers are changing their reward programs. They changed them during the pandemic in order to encourage people to travel more. But now that things are heading back to normal, and more and more people are booking flights, the airlines are changing the threshold of where the rewards will kick in.
DELTA: Actually, Delta hasn't changed their frequent flier program (Sky Miles) since 2015. So, they are due to change that and you may not like it.
...it will be even harder to earn a top-tiered status. For gold, you'll need $8,000 MQDs (up from $6,000 this year), while Platinum status will now be $12,000 MQDs (up from $9,000) and Diamond requires $20,000 MQDs (up from $15,000). Silver, however, will remain the same.
Although, Delta is also implementing a new policy where an existing Sky Miles member will be able to gift their miles to someone else. That program goes into effect this year on February 1st, which is tomorrow. Of course, that are some restrictions, but it's a new reward that they are implementing.
AMERICAN: American airlines is changing their reward policy too. They are making it a bit tougher to get to their "gold" status, but a the same time they are implementing some other lesser rewards.
American Airlines AAdvantage members will need to earn 40,000 loyalty points in order to earn "gold" status starting in March of 2023, up from the 30,000 previous threshold.
So that's up 10,000 points. Sometimes there are opportunities where you can earn double points and such, but 10.000 is a hefty amount to most people unless you fly for business reasons.
Some of the "lesser" rewards will come with seating on American Airlines. And depending on what your situation is, good seating can be an important perk.
...loyalty members will unlock the first tier of benefits after earning 15,000 points, receiving Group 5 boarding privileges. They will also get their choice of either priority check-in, security and Group 4 boarding for one trip, or five preferred seat coupons.
So, sounds like the best thing to do, as other airlines may be following suit, is to book as soon as possible before the changes go into effect. Some of the charter flights may have other rewards, or use credit cards that have travel perks.
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